Options do not have to be exercised in order to realize any potential gains. In fact you actually lose money by exercising them, since you paid a time premium to buy them which is lost if you exercise the options. They can also be traded like any other security or they can be held until expiration. If they are held until expiration, the system will settle the contracts in cash. If you do need to exercise an option, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the “FAQ” page with your username, the option code and number of contracts you would like exercised. Please also note that position limit rules and buying power limitations come into play when exercising options.